Gareth Porter believes a US attack on Iran is off but says the Israelis may still do it. He discusses what he has learned about the region. In previous programs International Law expert Francis A. Boyle argued US may be planning an attack and that George W. Bush's trip to the ME was to try to shore up support for hard line toward Iraq with other Middle East leaders. Did that effort fail? What else can we learn. We will be looking into that during upcoming broadcasts.
The Historian and national security expert talks about what really happened in the Strait of Hormuz, assessing the Pentagon version and reviewing media accounts primarily on CNN. Then we look at US policy in the region, Saudi support for Iraqi Sunnis who were fighting Al Qaeda, the US misrepresenting the success of the surge policy in Iraq.
The Bush and Olmert administrations continue to saber rattle towards Iran and the media has been making it sound as if we are on the brink of war. Yet, just this morning NPR aired their interview with Deputy Director of Defense Robert Gates. He has downgraded Iran from a "threat" to a "concern" he said, admitting that Iran poses no military threat to US forces. Prior to these statements Gareth Porter explained the strange history of statements coming from the US Military commanders in the region including those who sourced CNN on the Strait of Hormuz incident.
Are we at war or is this politics? In one sense the bombing of Iraq under "operation phantom phoenix" and the dropping of some 40,000 pounds of bombs in 10 minutes, may have been characterized in such a way that it was propagandized. Yet, Porter argues it may also have been a matter of the US Military doing what it does...using a military response.
He helps us try to understand the shifting and volatile US policy initiative in the Middle East.
From Intro: On January 12th Bahrain time, US naval ships encountered much smaller Iranian vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, a water way that is key to oil trade in the Middle East. CNN was soon falsely conveying information about urgent danger to US forces aboard war ships, reporting that acts of war nearly occured between Iranian and US naval forces. Historian and national security policy analyst Gareth Porter joins us to talk about what really happened and discuss foreign policy in Iraq as well. His latest book is, "Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam."
His recent articles about US policy in the Middle East have helped debunk one lie after about the threat posed by Iran through weapons of mass destruction and Iranian efforts in Iraq. His reports have appeared in Inter Press Service, Global research, the American prospect, and other publications. His November 10th story was titled, How Cheney Cooked the Intelligence on Iran. Prior to that he wrote of tensions between the White House and top military officials such as Admiral William Fallon, who was at one time George Bush's nominee to head the Central Command (CENTCOM). Fallon was against the present US naval build up in the Persian gulf.
In his August 2007 story, The Iran Attack That Wasn't Gareth Porter described how US reporters trumped up a story about Iranians killing Americans in Iraq. His report in Inter Press January 11th was titled, Iran: Bush's Tonkin Gulf Tale Unravels. The reference is to the gulf of Tonkin incident, a similarly exaggerated encounter said to have helped justify US air strikes and an invasion of Indochina during the 1960s. Gareth Porter is an expert on Vietnam history and has been tracking similarities in us policy in the middle east.
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